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Boeing Completes F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III Upgrade Ahead of Schedule

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Boeing Completes F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III Upgrade Ahead of Schedule

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Boeing Completes F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III Upgrade Ahead of Schedule
Boeing Completes F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III Upgrade Ahead of Schedule

Boeing has completed the upgrade and life extension of the first two service life modification (SLM) F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets, delivering them to the U.S. Navy one month ahead of schedule from St. Louis and two months ahead of schedule from San Antonio. The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are a series of American supersonic twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft derived from the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, in service with the armed forces of the U.S., Australia, and Kuwait. The upgraded jets have the same capabilities as Super Hornets being delivered from Boeing’s new-build production line. Establishing a baseline for the condition of Block II F/A-18s received at Boeing, and the Navy’s work to prepare the jets in advance. Sharing information and best practices across multiple SLM sites to improve efficiency, manage workload distribution and optimize resource allocations.

“Our success in meeting the accelerated timeline is proof our service life modification game plan is working. Thanks to our years of learning on the program and our partnership with the Navy, the F/A-18 Super Hornet remains at the forefront of defense technology with renewed years of service to support the fleet,” said Faye Dixon, Boeing SLM director.

“Great measures were taken by the Boeing and Navy teams to ensure these are the safest and most capable Block III F/A-18s we can give our warfighters. These are just the first of many deliveries, with around 15 years of SLM deliveries to go. Our warfighters are counting on us to get this right every time,” said Mark Sears, Boeing Fighters vice president.

“These first deliveries of Block III SLM jets are a major milestone in our continued efforts to ensure capability, reliability, availability and maintainability of the Super Hornet aircraft. We look forward to our continued partnership with Boeing to deliver this critical warfighting capability to the fleet,” said Capt. Michael Burks, program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office.

The first operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet lifts off over Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. (Boeing Photo)
The first operational Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III lifts off over Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. (Photo by Boeing)

The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is the newest highly capable, affordable and available tactical aircraft in U.S. Navy inventory. The Super Hornet is the backbone of the U.S. Navy carrier air wing now and for decades to come. The combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats well into the future. Block III upgrades include a large area display and more powerful computing through Tactical Targeting Network Technology and a Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked open mission systems processor. The work is being done at Boeing sites in St. Louis and San Antonio, and at the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southwest in San Diego. Boeing and the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest signed a Public-Private Partnership agreement in March to expand the work scope at the command, paving the way for the readiness center to now perform the same Block III SLM work done in St. Louis and San Antonio.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

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